I gotta say, I love CoolTools. I feel like it is the best PD for me because I like to explore things at my own pace. We’re switching our library automation system and the training that is involved with that is tedious. It takes a long time and most of it goes in one ear and out the other. With CoolTools I can pick the tools I think might make the most difference in my day to day activities with students. I can work at my own pace and I am able to apply many things right away.
Last year my major accomplishment was establishing some global connections. This year I’ve maintained those connections and used them as an audience and a way to exchange learning. I worked a lot on infographs this year and creating visual messages like gifs, using bitmojis, autodraw, and noun project. I then share these tools with the LMS’ in my district, especially when I see exactly how useful they are in the classroom.
I love when things tie together. Last year I worked on my own understanding of Creative Commons. This year I taught Creative Commons to my students and they learned how to adjust their search settings to avoid copyright infringement. Then the noun project website reinforced the use of Creative Commons.
Bitmojis are part of my everyday communication tools now. I had seen them before but just didn’t put in the time to play with them. Now, I’m preparing to teach a fifth grade lesson in google docs and I plan on using Bitmojis for positive feedback. I’m excited about sharing fun digital stickers with my students. I’ve used them with teachers, but haven’t gotten much response from that population. I’m guessing most adults are in the same boat I was before I played with the tool on CoolTools.
While exploring the eraser app and my Harold and the Purple Crayon recreation idea, things didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped. It didn’t look at all like Harold, but the kindergarten students were so adorable in their adobe sketch pictures I decided to share with my principal and superintendent. The superintendent asked if he could share the pictures at the next board meeting.
Next year I look forward to participating in CoolTools again and expanding my technological awareness even more. Things change so quickly that I feel like CoolTools is a necessity each year just to stay abreast of current tools and methodologies.
Thanks for another great season of CoolTools!!